Q&A: Why Trails are Important to Athletic Brewing
As the opportunity to actually get a beer with good friends opens up, we chatted with Mark Koks of Athletic Brewing to learn a bit more about why he loves trails, and how Athletic Brewing is giving back.
At Washington Trails Association, one of the things we love most about hiking is the community. People who love trails are usually people we’d love to get a beer with — even if that beer happens to be nonalcoholic. As the opportunity to actually get a beer with good friends opens up, we chatted with Mark Koks of Athletic Brewing to learn a bit more about why he loves trails, and how Athletic Brewing is giving back.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m the territory sales manager for Athletic Brewing Company, which means that I oversee the company’s distribution, events and partnerships in Washington state. I like to spend time hiking, backpacking and climbing.
What is Athletic Brewing?
Athletic Brewing is a craft brewery that makes good tasting beer that happens to be nonalcoholic. Our founder wanted to live a healthy, active lifestyle, but found that alcohol was getting in the way of that. So he created a beer that lets you enjoy the refreshing taste of craft beer without the alcohol. But we are also so much more. We want to positively impact not only our customers’ health, fitness and happiness, but also the community and the environment.
How does Athletic Brewing like to give back to the community?
Athletic Brewing believes in the importance of access to safe outdoor spaces for communities to get outside. Through our Two for the Trails program, we donate 2% of all sales to support active and healthy lifestyles in the outdoors. We are also working to build a culture of diversity and inclusivity not only at Athletic Brewing, but in the beer industry and the broader community.
How did you first hear about Washington Trails Association?
When I moved to Washington in March of 2020, I was eager to hit the trails, but didn’t know where to go. The first hike I went on in early spring, we encountered some unexpected snow. A friend then recommended WTA as a way to find hikes and real time trail conditions from trip reporters. WTA is such a great resource when you are new to the state, it saved my summer
Why do you think WTA and Athletic Brewing are natural partners?
The trail work that WTA does, as well as the hiking resources you provide, fit so well into the program we’ve built. We were looking for an organization where we could have a local community impact and also give back to trails through our Two for the Trails program, and WTA was a clear choice for that.
Athletic Brewing wants to get more people exploring and enjoying the outdoors, while also protecting these wild places and WTA is proud to partner with them to accomplish just that!